Irish summer dance camp-themed days 
Photos and post by Caitlin Buck, Feis America LLC

Every summer my Irish dance school holds its own camp in our studio. Five days of intense dancing that have traditionally all been themed to add a dash of fun for the younger dancers. As an older dancer, there are more opportunities to get involved in the booster club, and my first thing I was ever in charge of was (get ready): camp themes and snack sign up. Major stuff eh?? Anyway the last few years I have come up with themes, and as summer kicks off, it got me automatically pondering new possibilities.

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Googling camp themes one lazy evening, I happened upon several sites offering lengthy lists of theme inspiration, but what I was really inspired to do was create an Irish dance version of the tradition summer camp themes:

Going off the word REEL:

Reel Nerdy- Huge black nerd glasses, high capris with suspenders, poodle socks, pigtails & the serious faces of very determined dancers on the floor. Picture it. Who wouldn’t keep cracking up all day?

Reel Tough OR Reel Treble- Dress like a solider or pirate or wear camo

Reely Different-Use imagination

Reel Special-Favorite dance outfit

Reel Comfortable- Pajama day!

Reel Glamorous-Movie star glam!

A little Celtic

Fairy or Leprechaun day-Big hit with the youngest dancers

Design your own celtic t-shirt-Utilizing Celtic clip art or gaelic words.

Celtic Socks (instead of crazy socks) -Grab an old pair of poodle socks & some fabric paint & paint on shamrocks, trinity knots & other Celtic designs. (Celtic Socks for the anti-paint: Wear your favorite store bought pair of St. Patty’s day socks.)

Wear Green OR Wear Shamrocks-Note: This one radiates originality.

Oireachtas Survivor

Class survivor theme for the entire week!  Age groups or levels can be made into tribes or clans for extra camaraderie. Teams get together to make bandannas, arm bands, or t-shirts.

Wear camo, black, war paint

Create a shirt for Oireachtas

Think Hunger Games: Working on the Odds being in our favor!

Summer is an opportunity to mix fun with Irish dance training and practice at Irish dance schools. With most studios offering their own version of intensive summer Irish dance camp, it's a chance to meet older and younger dancers at every level, and often, it means a college-level or guest workshop dancer joins for skill or choreography work. Make the most of your summer camp Irish dance experience!

Please share your thoughts about what makes the most fun and your ideas for keeping dance in the summer,whether you are headed for a big competition or just want to stay in shape by posting in the comments section below.

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